Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin eTrex Vista Review


UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For more current recommendations, please refer to our handheld GPS buyers guide or our Garmin handheld GPS comparison chart.

The Garmin eTrex Vista GPS, a mid-level model in the eTrex line, is perfect for the avid outdoorsman. With 24 MB of memory, it will likely hold all the topo maps you could use on a single trip, unless you are hiking the entire Appalachian Trail!  This unit includes a barometric altimeter and electronic compass, two very nice features.. Be aware though that, unlike the Vista C, it will not auto-route. That is, you can’t plug in an address and have it give you turn by turn directions. You can use it in a car with Garmin MetroGuide software, to direct you to points of interest (POIs) “as the crow flies,” and show your position in real-time.

88 reviewers at Amazon gave an average 4 out of 5 star rating to the eTrex Vista.

Here’s what other reviewers have to say:

  • My favorite reviewers,, offer this in-depth comparison of the Garmin Vista, Venture and Legend.
  • CNet rates the Gamin Vista at 8 out of 10, while 23 of their readers give it a 7.7.
  • PC Mag chimes in with this review of the etrex Vista.
  • Cache Machine reviews the eTrex Vista

Other resources:

Related posts:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. The Garmin Vista is a great unit. We have found over 1500 geocaches with ours!
    Mike and Barb
    At Jestcaching

  2. Thanks guys. I loved my eTrex Venture, my first GPS. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a Vista Cx for New Years! Hey, keep an eye out for a geocaching post towards the end of the month. Unless we get rained out, we’re going to take a gaggle of kids out for some fun.

  3. The unit is fine, but—the small print on the screen makes it hard to read in daylight.
    The rubber gasket is sensitive to moderate heat—-I have had to have the gasket replaced (by the factory) on two ocassions.

  4. I have an etrex vista that has recently been unable to acquire satelites in any wide open spaces with brand new fresh AA’s!!

    It has been sitting unused for a couple of years with no batteries installed.

    I’m at a loss to understand what has happened as it worked fine prior to storage???

    Any & all assistance would be greatly appreciated. Tnx & Best Regards, JD

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